Friday, March 18, 2005

Stacy Review: "The Incredibles"

I really adore the cinemas. The ironic part is my parents never really let us attend movies with our friends when we were kids. My earliers film memory is going to the single screen theater behind Sherwood Mall in my hometown of Stockton. The lobby was enormous with enough room for really long lines during the summer season.

My parents rarely took us out to the theater, mainly because we were a lower middle class family and it was just too expensive. But I remember vividly my first film..."Pete's Dragon". My sister and I were both mesmerized. My parents even commented on how well behaved we were after it concluded. This is one reason why I love the experience of going to the movies; I'm making up for lost time from my youth.

More importantly, I believe I love film simply because it took my mind away from all the illness I suffered through my childhood. So whenever I take time out from my life to enjoy a film, it fills me with incredible amounts of joy. Which leads to my first ever movie review on this blog...
..."The Incredibles".

First let me say that this review will be somewhat bias since I consider the entire staff at Pixar creative geniuses. They actually take the time to punch and scratch, filter and simmer a story until it's just right before even beginning the actual computer animation process. I am in complete awe of what they do.

In fact, one of my lifelong dreams is to become a character in one of their films. The signal of our radio station reaches Emeryville so whenever one of their films is released my excitement can't help but bubble over the airwaves. I've also "volunteered" to become a Pixar character for free. It doesn't even have to be a major part. I have such an infectious laugh, just that alone could render a half million in box office.

But I digress, or regress, depending on what time it is.

Never mind.

"The Incredibles" is difficult to sum up as a film genre. It's an action film, a middle aged tragedy, a spy flick and a comedy all rolled into two hours of engaging entertainment.

Did I mention I've seen it three times now?? That's quite a lot for a struggling broadcaster on a budget.

Brad Bird is the mastermind behind this Pixar venture. He is responsible for some of the finer classic episodes of "The Simpsons" and "Iron Giant". In the extras for the DVD edition, you see where all the manic energy from the film comes from. Brad Bird is a tornado of ideas and he rarely sits still to allow his vision to come into creation.

The first 30 minutes of the film is a little slow, but that's not a complaint. The film doesn't rush the character development. By the time Bob Parr and his family of superheroes is forced out of the Superhero Relocation Program, you know exactly what each member of the family wants and desires. When they triumph as a family later in the film, you can't help but cheer for them.

Whenever I see an animated film, I rush home to check out the vocal talent because it's something I would like to try. Everyone does a fantastic job, but I loved Sarah Vowell's portrayal of the teenager daughter the most. There's just something very lyrical to the way she presents the character and it's fascinating to listen to.

The only weak part to the film (and I really had to search my memory to find one) is Samuel L. Jackson's wife's character. She sounded like she was reading her lines with no acting talent at all. I'm not sure why this sticks out, but it kind of bugged me. This is Pixar for goodness sake. Although Disney helps with the casting process, I never thought they would let one slip by. Her part is small, so this is a minor complaint.

This is vibrant film with a 60ish feel, but at the same time, timeless in it's presentation. My top ten list of films of all time (at least the one's I've seen so far) rarely changes, but "The Incredibles" has it's place.

If anyone knows Mr. Lasseter, please let me know that a frustrated radio personality would love a bit part in one of his upcoming films.

Thank you for your patronage.

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